Monster Sketch Mon… Uh, Tuesday: The Bounty Hunters from ‘The Empire Strikes Back’

Sketchier than usual, but I’m behind on… so many things. I didn’t just want to skip another week.

This scene, man. Less than a minute of The Empire Strikes Back and so full of story. So full of character. Boba Fett is the guy who gets the screen time, but every single bounty hunter is so damn cool looking. Bossk was always a favorite when I was a kid – space-lizard WITH A GUN is just too cool – but I also loved IG-88. A killer droid was… well, killer. If I’m honest I wasn’t as enamored of the others, Dengar, 4-LOM and Zuckuss, but they were still badass. Just not badass enough to pretend to be them when playing in the backyard.

For this sketch I had to feature the Fett, as he’s the one that got the most screen time and fan love. I have to admit I didn’t enjoy the Disney+ series as much as I had hoped, but I still love the character. (This is the guy who Darth Vader has to warn about “no disintegrations” and he has all the assorted crimelords at a table ABOVE THE RANCOR PIT and doesn’t just dump them in when they backmouth him? Gah.) I also had to add Bossk, because he was my favorite out of the others. I also added 4-LOM for Dhalgren and I have to admit that he’s got a creepy/cool design to him. Ran out of time for the other three, unfortunately.

This scene – in which a Sith Lord has to contract out to the scum of the galaxy because the Empire ain’t great at sweating the small stuff (somebody signed off on that port design) – inspired decades of role playing for me and my gaming group. Like the best of Star Wars it hinted at a wider universe, one in which there was an economy that supported creatures like these making a living by hunting down fugitives, and then let the fans just fill in the blanks. I spent many an hour rolling dice as a bounty hunter (or rogue pilot, or padawan or… you get the idea). That whole subset of the Star Wars universe (the “fringe”), far beyond the Skywalker saga and Jedis and the bright lights of Coruscant just screamed adventure to me.  And it all traces back to this scene, these six characters and their designs.

So who’s your favorite bounty hunter? Still Boba Fett after all these years, or is IG-11 the assassin droid of your dreams?

Author: Bob Cram

Would like to be mysterious but is instead, at best, slightly ambiguous.